A DISABLED woman who fire bombed the home of an elderly neighbour over a parking feud and then cut herself with a knife to try and frame someone else was jailed for 11 years.
Suzanne Martin, 48, stared blankly at the ground and supported herself on a crutch while a judge at Liverpool Crown Court described her as a “chilling” criminal.
She was convicted of arson with intent to endanger life by a jury in September and later that month admitted perverting the course of justice.
Michael Scholes, prosecuting, told how Martin launched an incendiary device through the window of her next door neighbour Beryl Geen, 83, at around 10.40pm on March 25 following a row over a parking space at Acorn Close, Bebington, where they live.
Judge David Aubrey QC said this showed a “complete and utter coldness” because she knew her victim, a vulnerable widow who used a mobility scooter, would be in the house.
CCTV footage shown to the jury during the trial showed the limping figure of Martin throw a flaming object, described by Mr Scholes as a “Molotov cocktail” through the downstairs window of Mrs Geen’s property, built for elderly and disabled people.
Judge Aubrey said it was “purely fortuitous” Mrs Geen wasn’t killed.
Martin’s offence of perverting the course of justice came following an incident on February 22 when she claimed a woman called Emma McGinn had attacked her at her home, slashing her with a knife.
Ms McGinn was arrested late at night and provided an alibi but had the fear and stress of arrest and questioning by officers when she was totally innocent.
It was almost a month before the matters against her were dropped in what Judge Aubrey said was a “nightmare for an entirely innocent woman.”
A forensic expert said the cuts on Martin’s left breast and arm were “almost certainly” made by herself.
Rebecca Blain, defending Martin, said her client suffered from an anxiety disorder.
Jailing Martin for 10 years for the arson and an additional one year for perverting the course of justice, Judge Aubrey said Martin was “indifferent and unconcerned” about how her actions affected others.
He added: “This court finds your actions, your demeanour and your composure during these proceedings somewhat chilling.”
Speaking after learning of the sentences, Mrs Geen, who has been rebuilding her life since the attack, said she felt “justice has been done”.
The gran of seven and great-gran of eight had her home of nearly 20 years destroyed by the blaze in an incident she described as “evil”.
But she added: “I’m glad to hear she has gone to prison.”